Pray Against the Beast

So I'm reading a report from work about happenings around the country and one thing jumps out me. Apparently on June 6, 2006, many markets around the country shut down completely in order to go home and pray. Why, you say? Because 6/6/6 is the mark of the beast. Simple. This shutdown affected industry output in quite a major way since the largest bulk of manufactured goods passes through the open market. So many of you that live abroad (almost all of you!) imagine losing up to 20% of your sales in one month, simply because it was 6/6/6 - Mark of the Beast, Coming of the Anti-Christ, and so on.

Ron L. Hubbard, founder and spiritual head of Scientology once commented that the best way to make money in America is to start a religion. I think Nigeria has that beat. I mean, I have a friend whose neighbour is a pastor. Now my friend and this pastor are on the same NEPA link but while he almost NEVER has electricity, Mr. Pastor-Neighbour has electricity 24/7, aided by his automatic generator which I am absolutely sure is provided by his church. Now why it's part of his spiritual rights as a man of God to live in perpetual supply of electricity while his entire congregation and the building itself has no clue what that even looks like. Let's consider something else. 70% of Nigeria's population lives on less than US$1 per day, yet our pastors own yachts, private planes, investment accounts etc. I went to a church New Years Eve and during prayers the lead pastors gets up and shares his "revelations" with the church: 2 people will get a visa, 3 people will get married in the church - everyone start praying, it could be YOU! I mean really....

This whole thing just makes me really skeptical about and downright disinterested in churches in Nigeria. Since I've returned here, I made the decision to just frequent orthodox churches exclusively. The Baptists, Methodists, Anglican....these churches seem more attuned to my own spiritual needs. And it's a strong decision too. You know Nigerians now...everyone wants to invite you to their church/fellowship/gospel concert etc....ESPECIALLY if you're single (but that's a whole 'nother story!) so I just tell them, looking straight into their eye, blank faced...."sorry, I don't do pentecostal churches in Nigeria". This is like being the Anti-Christ itself in Nigeria and automatically you can see their eyes twitching as they itch to convert me from my terrible ways. (Remember I didn't say I don't go to church o, just simply, I do Methodist or Anglican).
THEM: but why
ME: nothing. don't like them. too active
THEM: (slightly confused) but God is everywhere
ME: Yes, that's why I like MY church.
THEM: So try mine.
ME: (still blank-faced) No this point they tend to live me alone! Actually this also reminds me of another "religious" type conversation I had. This one at work. For some reason, people pray EVERYWHERE, even in the workplace. I mean, prayer is not bad, but i'm used to freedome of expression/religion, etc...and in NIGERIA, no such freedoms exist. Your freedom of religion only goes thus far: CHRISTIAN (pentecostal of course) or MUSLIM. Notice I didn't say AND, I said OR. so prayers at work, doesn't mean both muslim and christian prayers. Anywho, I get dragged to this employee union meeting, and i stress AT WORK, i'd never been to and didn't even know what is about. I walk in and sit at the table quietly. The lady (who's never seen me and just met me not quite 2 seconds ago) beats the gavel, it's time to start the meeting. So here it goes..
LADY: Welcome everybody, glad to see you. Comrade Lola why don't you pray for us.
ME: (looking around like me?!?) Uhm......
LADY: (looking at me expectantly) Yes, Comrade Lola
ME: Sorry, you need to pick someone else

You can imagine the shock! Here's the convo after I had with her:
ME: Excuse me dont' feel it was right for you to call me out at a meeting i'm just attending for the first time. Plus I don't feel comfortable with mandatory public prayer at work, it's against my principles as a human being.
LADY: Uhm...........uhm.....o..k...

I'm sure that lady is now sure of my Anti-Christ status. She probably prays for my soul every sunday at her mega church where she gives her Pastor money for a 24/7 generator while her husband is secretly planning his afternoon rendezvous with his UniLag girlfriend.


Queen of Procrasti Nation! said...

Comrade Lola, why are you talking like this? Of course pastor needs 24/7 electricity... remember he has to be constantly reading the Bible and preparing notes for sermons... you want him to spoil his eyes with lantern abi you want him to waste church money on diesel? Why are you Nigerians so cynical?

And on the issue of prayer everywhere, hellooo... how else will you be able to tell who is righteous enough to associate with and not gossip too much about?

Finally, you know 'The Omen' remake was released on 6/6/06 in the US right? Folks that believe the story of "the Beast" are everywhere!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but the go see a movie and buy some jujubes at the theatre, they don't stay at home and pray and fast....

Anonymous said...

lol!!!!! yeah lola she definitely thinks you are the devils child....
i hear what u are sayin about the pastor...fela sang about this yrs ago...that's how it gets down in naija....if u know beta tin u better become a pastor urself :) :)